Health in old age, and patients’ approaches to telemedicine in Poland
Treść / Zawartość
Introduction. The ageing society of Poland still experiences health-related problems and increasing difficulties in receiving medical care. The initiation of telemedicine programmes can change this situation for the better. The question arises whether telemedicine is a solution that the elderly are willing to accept and take advantage of in order to raise their quality of life. Objective. The aim of the research was an investigation of the quality of life and the course of ageing among the elderly Polish population, and their openness to the notion of telemedical services. Materials and method. A questionnaire-based study was conducted in 2015 on a sample group of 312 seniors. The respondents completed the Diener Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) and the subscale of Health States from Fragebogen zur Lebenszufriedenheit (FLZ) by Fahrenberg et al. Each participant gave consent to take part in the research. Results. SWLS presents a relatively stable value in the subsequent decades of old age (60–69 years, M=21.93, SD=6.25; 70–79 years, M=21.70, SD=5.52; 80+yeasrs, M=21.38, SD=5.82). The health related quality of life (the FLZ subscale) varied in the analysed subgroups (F=7.783: p=0.000) and was related to comorbidity and polytherapy. A positive attitude towards telemedicine was expressed by 40% of those surveyed. However, the need of the seniors for telemedicalservices was limited and did not exceed the 10%. Conclusions. In Poland, in ageing there still dominates the experience of multiple ailments and polytherapy, something which justifies a search for new, easily accessible, and economically sound solutions for health care. Telemedicine is a promising solution, although there is a need for definite steps to be taken to increase the willingness among geriatric patients to take advantage of telemedicine.